Ayo Villum Krogh.



Ayo Villum Krogh.

Message in a Bottle


Corporation project with industrial and communication design student from Designskolen Kolding and Tonji University in Shanghai.

Everybody has the right to mental health.

This was the basic message of the Message in a Bottle project.


We experienced that when people ride the metro in Shanghai they all stare into their phones and even though they stand so close that not even a piece of paper could fit in between they never interact or talk to each other. A lot of the passengers are feeling frustrated and exhausted after a full day’s work and

looking into their phones avoids the need to make  conversation or contact – it is a moment for them to relax. Through research we found that it is not common to talk openly about your problems in China and in a big city like Shanghai the pressure of succeeding can be very stressful and can take a toll on your mental state. In all of Shanghai there is 17.000 educated psychiatrists – compared to the size of the city it would mean that there would only be 6 psychiatrists in all of Denmark. With this project we wanted to open up a conversation about mental health and give people the opportunity to take part without feeling judged.


We propose to do this is by getting people to write down their stories on notes we provided and share them by leaving them for others to find (that concept reminded us of a message in a bottle), connecting the community and taking a step closer to better mental health.


We wanted to design the notes so they would be easily accessible, and people would not need to go out of their way to get them so we decided to

incorporate them into things that people use every day like water bottles or coffee cups. It was important that the notes wouldn't feel like trash, so we decided to go with the coffee sleeve that is easily removable from the cup.


The Message in a Bottle campaign was designed to spread mental health awareness in a welcoming and non-threatening way but with a serious undertone and that is what we wanted to communicate with the color combination and structured typeface.

The central installation of the whole campaign would be two walls made up of bricks with slots for the notes and it would be placed in the Tongji metro station in Síping. Where people could leave their notes and take others to read, spreading mental health awareness throughout the community.


The project is made in collaboration with Harald Eliassen(Norway), Tang Yining (China) and Fífa Jónsdóttir (Iceland). Besides working side by side with these wonderful people all the way, my biggest contribution to this project was the visual communication and identity on this campaign.






Mental health awareness

through emphatic connection

in the Shanghai Metro

Ayo Villum Krogh.

Ayo Villum Krogh is a danish graphic designer with a passion for gifs, instant carma, grids and glitter. Working with her you will get an amazing result connecting the digital and the analog media.


Ayo Villum Krogh

+45 6061 3902